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Word Count: 502
The Awakening is a commentary on the restraints faced by women at the turn of the century The novel is really all about independence and understanding The peace that is offered in the promise of personal freedom concerning love and all else shown in this novel is enticing Chopin writes about a woman who continues to reject the society around her a notion too radical for Chopins peers Edna Pontellier has the traditional role of both wife and mother but deep down she wants something more which was difficult to acknowledge in the restricted Victorian society This novel shows Edna going through a metamorphosis during which she shirks what society believes women should do and focuses on herself instead Chopin makes several political statements in The Awakening Chopin acknowledges sexuality in women and womens rights in a time period where these were unspoken and unacceptable Chopin acknowledges the boundaries and consequences of marriage because Edna sees what her limits are and makes efforts to stretch and break free of those limits When she commits suicide she becomes victorious because she doesnt have to give up her identity and conform to the social norms which suppress her sexuality individuality and rights Choked by the cloistering moralistic garb of the Victorian era yet willing to give up everything--even her own life--for the freedom of unencumbered individuality Edna Pontellier epitomizes the consummate New Woman of the late nineteenth century She embodies the social ideals for which women of that era were striving and are still striving for today She is individualistic--a maverick She is passionate She is courageous and intrepid She is the definitive persona which thousands of women during the late nineteenth century exalted as a role model Leonce Pontellier shows the feelings of Victorian society toward women He treats Edna as a possession rather than a person and views her awakening as a burden and embarrassment Robert Lebrun continues to illustrate the constricting Victorian
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